“Obviously, any time Russell is on the floor people pay attention,” Fisher said. “There will be easier shots for guys when he's in the lineup.”
But the Martin dilemma is more worrisome.
Last season, K-Mart led the Thunder with 158 made threes. And he did it efficiently, shooting 42.6 percent from downtown, 10th best in the NBA and highest on the team.
In his place, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are expected to get more looks. Jackson, while a bit improved, shot just 22.3 percent from deep in his first two years. And Lamb, billed as an eventual sharpshooter, remains unproven.
“The game of basketball tells you what to work on,” Brooks said. “(And) a lot of times, it's loud and clear. Right now, we definitely have to get better at 3-point shooting.”
The Thunder has never relied heavily on the deep ball. At 19.4 attempts per game, OKC was just below the league average last season.
But in today's stat-driven NBA world, defending and shooting the three at a high-efficiency rate has proven to hold high importance.
So as this season wears on, it'll be interesting to follow how much of the Thunder's expected 3-point drop-off actually materializes on the court.
“Come regular season, everybody starts off 0-for-0,” Brooks said. “Hopefully you make your first shot.”
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